A 5-year-old girl who had been missing for nearly 12 hours was found dead Thursday in an abandoned trailer near her family's Mississippi home, and police are investigating the case as a homicide, a police spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.
The body of Janaya Makayia Thompson was discovered shortly before 9 a.m. in the bathroom of an abandoned trailer in Gulfport, the state's second largest city with a population of roughly 70,000, said Sgt. Damon McDaniel, public information officer for the Gulfport Police Department.
The girl was reported missing by her mother at 8:29 p.m. Wednesday, according to McDaniel, who said the trailer park is within walking distance of the Palms Apartment complex where the victim lived with her mother.
Police did not immediately reveal a cause of death, but McDaniel said the incident will be investigated as a homicide.
McDaniel told The Times that police launched a sprawling search effort Wednesday night. Officers were joined by K-9 units with Gulf Coast Search and Rescue and aircraft launched by the Harrison County Sheriff's Office.